Make your food super pretty with this edible flower guide
Nowadays, anyone can become a food photographer thanks to Instagram. In this age of social media madness, it can seem like organizing everything you eat into aesthetically pleasing meals can be a lot of work for nothing. Or, maybe you’re one of them, in which case we don’t judge you at all (seriously, all we have for you is admiration!).
If you have a busy life and preparing your salad isn’t a top priority, don’t worry! It is entirely possible to have the best of both worlds. You can have a salad that’s pretty for the eyes and time to actually eat it. The key is the edible flowers.
Edible flowers are not only a quick fix for turning ordinary salads into mouth-watering culinary masterpieces that will wow guests and Instagram followers, but they are also a source of nutrition. Studies show that edible flowers contain a large variety vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc, as well as antioxidants like flavonoids, anthocyanins and phenolic acids. who can all to contribute to prevent cancer and provide our body with anti-inflammatory fuel.
If you’re not yet convinced that adding edible flowers to your salads is worth the time and effort, know this: Eating beautiful food can actually make it taste better. Studies show that the way we perceive flavor is influenced by our five senses, including sight. This means that if you’re struggling to eat a healthy diet, making your next salad more appetizing might actually make it easier for you!
The good news is, you may already have edible flowers in your garden! Here are five flowers you should definitely try to include in your next salad:
1. Squash flowers
These delicate flowers also known as “zucchini flowers” come from plants in the Cucurbita family which, you guessed it, are made up of squash, zucchini and squash. The flowers, which can range in color from soft yellow to pale orange, have a mild taste reminiscent of the vegetable they came from, although a little sweeter. They make a perfect addition to any salad, but they can also be cooked like in this amazing Squash Blossom, Zucchini, and Cashew Cheese Toast recipe. However, you will reap more advantages if you like them raw because these beauties are loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C as well as minerals like calcium and iron.
The best way to find squash blossoms for your next salad is either in your backyard (or a friend’s garden) or at your local farmer’s market. Their fragile nature makes them a delicacy to savor on the day they are picked. If you are lucky enough to have some in your garden, be careful to pick only the male flowers as the female flowers will turn into a beautiful squash. The tower is to look for flowers that grow on the outside of the plant as the female flowers tend to stay in the center.
Whether you choose them in your garden or not, always make sure to wash them gently and look for any insects that may have remained inside the flower. Then, try recipes like these zucchini blossoms stuffed with cashew cream and basil, squash blossoms stuffed with okra and corn, and this potato crust pizza with pesto and garlic. garnished with squash flowers.
Ali grany/ Flickr
Nasturtiums are an annual variety of garden flowers that range in color from yellow and orange to deep red. Their vibrant hues are just what you need to add color to your salads. Nasturtiums make a great addition to any salad with their distinct peppery taste that may remind you of radishes or watercress. While their beauty and unique taste are enough reasons to give them a chance, their nutritional content also cannot be ignored. Nasturtiums are an excellent The source potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. They will also give you a good dose of vitamin C and help you fight infections because they have strong antibacterial properties.
If you want to add nasturtiums to your salads, you can find them at health food stores or at your local farmer’s market. They are an easy to maintain plant, you might want to include them in your garden if you don’t already have them. There is nothing better than picking your garnishes in your own garden, right?
canon jans/ Flickr
You probably remember that flower from your childhood games of “he loves me, he doesn’t love me”, but it turns out that daisies had a bigger purpose than fortune telling from the start! The flower buds and petals of this simple herb are not only great as a salad garnish, they are also very nutritious. Daisies are packed with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc! Who would have thought?
You can find daisies at your local farmer’s market or health food store, but you can also pick them from the wild. They are easy to grow and usually inhabit grassy places, meadows and riverbanks. You can even grow them on your lawn! They are considered a weed after all. If you are picking wild daisies, just make sure they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. Daisies from garden centers or flower shops may also have been exposed to harmful chemicals, so keep that in mind.
This flower is eaten very well raw but you can also put it in soups or sandwiches. Some people even marinate them and replace them with capers.
liz west/ Flickr
Pansies are available in many different colors, ranging from white, blue and purple to all kinds of yellow, orange and red hues. Their beauty lends itself well to salads, cakes and desserts of all kinds. Adding them raw to your salads will undoubtedly produce an aesthetic experience that is sure to impress your guests and stimulate everyone’s taste buds. Pansies have a slightly sweet flavor with some acidity. Some to say they have a taste reminiscent of sweet wintergreen.
Not only are the pansies beautiful, but they also provide a lot of nutrition. They are high in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. Thoughts were too find contain a large amount of flavonoids which are a powerful antioxidant. Flavonoids among others, to help prevent heart disease and hypertension.
If you want to get your hands on these pretty, tasty, and healthy flowers, your best bet is in your own garden or at your local farmer’s market.
sky seeker/ Flickr
Sunflowers always grab our attention with their tall stems and big, shiny buds, so it makes sense that they make a great addition to salads. You can use their leaves as a greenery, their yellow petals as a burst of sunshine in your salad, and their buds to have their seeds as a snack later. Talk about winning, winning, winning! Their young, celery-tasting stems can even be chopped and added to your dish for extra crunch. The petals on their hand bring a lovely sweet and sour taste that pairs well with most salads.
Since their seeds are a well-known nutritious snack, it’s no surprise that other parts of the plant have many health benefits. Sunflower petals are a good The source fiber, fatty acids, as well as phenolic acids which are a type of phytochemical. Including them in your next salad is a good idea if you want to take advantage of their antioxidant properties. You can even add petals to this Butter Lettuce Quarter Salad with Sunflower Seed, Pear, and Tempeh Bacon Dressing and get double the benefits.
You can find sunflowers at your local farmer’s market or you can also grow them in your own garden. They are beautiful, healthy and tasty, so you might want to plant them next year!
Recommended resources and recipes to get you started!
Want more information on edible flowers and gardening? Here are a few articles to get you started:
Looking for more recipes that use flowers? Try one of them!
This lavender maple cashew ice cream is made with a base of cashew nuts and canned coconut cream sweetened with black maple syrup. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, try this raw chocolate bark with pistachios and edible flowers. Simply melt the base ingredients together, then garnish with edible flowers.
For breakfast, try something simple like this simple squash blossoms, zucchini, and cashew cheese toast. For a light lunch or an aperitif, squash flowers are perfect! Try these squash blossoms stuffed with okra and corn or these squash blossoms stuffed with cashew cream and lemon, a cheeseless version of zucchini blossoms stuffed with goat cheese. For even more ideas on what to do with edible flowers, check out our vegan edible flower recipes.
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The Food Monster app has over 8,000 recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest you need to pay a subscription, but it’s well worth it because not only do you get instant access to over 8,000 recipes, but you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature articles, and browse recipes in hundreds of categories such as Diet, Cuisine, Meal Type, Occasion, Ingredient, Popular, Seasonal, and more!
Main image source: Spring salad with carrots, beets and flowers